How do you harvest chives?


Quick Answer

Harvest chives by selecting stems that are ready, cutting them properly, and using or storing them. Because chives are easy to grow and reseed themselves, gardeners can have an abundant supply of this herb with minimal effort for year-round use.

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Full Answer

  1. Choose chives that are ready

    If planted from seed, chives can be harvested after 60 days. If transplanted, cut stems 30 days after the plant goes into the ground. Harvest them a few times the first year, and cut the fragrant leaves once a month in the second year and beyond.

  2. Cut them properly

    Cut the stem, leaving at least 1/2 inch but not more than 2 inches of the stem behind. For a few stems, cut from the outside of the bunch. For an entire bunch, hold the stems in one hand, and snip them with the other. Chives regrow from the root and stem left behind. Cutting away too much prohibits or slows regrowth.

  3. Use or store the chives

    Chives have the best flavor when used fresh. Cut them up, and use them in soups, on potatoes or in other dishes. For year-round usage, chop and freeze the stems in an airtight plastic bag. Thaw and then use normally whenever you're ready. Chives can be dried, but their flavor diminishes with the drying process.

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